Welcome Elizabeth Essex!
ISBN: 0758251580 

Captain Hugh McAlden is working on a top-secret mission to bring down enemy spies living in England. After seeing a young woman perform a brilliant bit of pick pocketing on the London streets, he impulsively decides to hire her to help him. The only name she'll give him is Meggs, and she refuses to tell him anything about her background or how she ended up on the streets. But as Hugh tries to unravel her secrets, he also finds her harder and harder to resist... 

~ ~ ~

The door was opened wide and Meggs could see Himself striding his uneven way across the deep, quiet rug at her with the singular concentration of a silent hawk, swooping single-mindedly down on its prey. She was struck again by the eerie, almost incandescent light of his ice blue eyes. Her stomach did a nasty little flip that made the floor tilt under foot. Gave her the jim-jams bad, this one. Coming here was a mistake. 

“Well, well. It seems good things do come to those who wait. Please, come in.” He gestured toward two armchairs in front of the glowing hearth. Lord help her, but it was warm as the bottom floor of hell. “I’m impressed. Jinks clearly didn’t recognize you. I see you’ve decided to accept my offer.” 

So he’d had the Irish fairy man with him before, at the watchmakers. Stupid of her not to have seen him. This cove was too flash by half. 

“Ain’t decided nofink. Yet.” She didn’t like being inside, all caged up with nowhere to run. Though it was nice and warm. 

“I see. So you’ve come to negotiate, have you?” He seated himself behind his desk, leaned back in the leather-bound chair and steepled his fingers across his chest. All to show her he was in charge. “You’re hardly in a position to ask for a pot to piss in. I could see you in jail, or transported on the strength of my word alone. I could see you hung.” 

He meant to frighten her. Good thing she was already scared shite-less. It saved them both time.  

“You could see me do what you want, nice ‘n easy like. For the right price.”


When not re-reading Jane Austen, sipping tea or mucking about her garden, acclaimed author Elizabeth Essex can be found with her laptop, making up wonderful stories about people who live far more interesting lives than she. 

It wasn’t always so. Elizabeth graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classical Studies and Art History, and then earned her MA from Texas A&M University in Nautical Archaeology, also known as the archaeology of shipwrecks. While Elizabeth loved the life of a working archaeologist, after writing and reading all those dry, dusty reports on ship construction, she would daydream about how lovely it would have been if only someone had fallen in love on just one of those ships. And so now she writes stories about just that. 

Elizabeth lives in Texas with her exuberant family, in a house filled to the brim with books.

ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
LIZ: Not as often as I would like. Now that I’m writing, I have limited amounts of time to read fiction. But after I turned in my last manuscript I took a long day to read Joanna Bourne’s THE BLACK HAWK and she is such a master storyteller that I fell completely under the spell of Adrian and Justine’s tangled tale of love and betrayal. Getting lost in that story was pure bliss! 

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading?
LIZ: I remember all sorts of books that my mother read to me, but I truly became a reader—an avid reader—the year I was in 6th grade. I had transferred to a new school and it had a huge library you could visit ALL THE TIME! I could go there before school, between classes or during recess and there was no limit to the number of books I could check out. It was as if I had been given the keys to a magical new kingdom all my own. The first book I checked out that year was K.M. Peyton’s wonderful FLAMBARDS which was exactly what my tween-aged, horse-crazy, romantic little soul needed. I was hooked. 

ANGI: What’s your favorite “love” word?
LIZ: At the moment I would have to say ‘desire,’ not only because it’s in the title of my latest release, but also because I always want my heroes and heroines to get their heart’s desire. 

ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?
LIZ: In this case I would have to say my real-life heroes are actually heroines. They are my wonderful girlfriends and I would choose them because they are the kind of people who, every single day, go out of their way to make someone else’s life a little better or a little easier. This past year I have found that in a time of crisis—whether it be illness, a spouse’s death, joblessness or any of the myriad trials and tribulations life throws at us on a daily basis—they are the kind of people you want by your side, quietly doing what needs to be done, no matter the task, without fanfare and without needing recognition. St. Teresa said that as humans we can do no great things, only small things with great love, and I am humbly grateful to know such everyday heroines who show such great love by taking the time to ease the burdens of our shared humanity every single day. 

There, now you’ve done it, Angi—I’m all verklempt! 

ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
LIZ: I was raised on Irish tales of fairies and the unseen world that hovers just out of sight, and my favorite story was the Tale of the Children of Lir, who were cursed by their evil step-mother—really, is there any other kind of step-mother in fairy tales?—and turned into swans. But the children, two brothers and two sisters, stuck with each other through thick and through thin, and they made friends with all the other animals, who in the end were the ones to help them break the curse and free themselves to defeat the evil step-mother.

Basically, I like the stories where nobody waits for the prince or the wizard to waltz through the door of the tower, or through the briar wall to save them. I like stories where people save themselves. :) 

ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
LIZ: Got to be Rocky the Flying Squirrel in the Bullwinkle cartoons. Not sure why, except that whole Fractured Fairy Tales portion of that cartoon was so subversive and funny I found it hilarious. Obviously I cultivated my taste for irony and sarcasm very early in life. :) 
ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
LIZ: Action Fairy Tale. See above for stories where people rescue themselves. Recently I loved ENTANGLED for that very reason. Wonderful, well-known story told with freshly conceived characters with great adventures. And of course, there was the ‘smolder.‘ Marvelous. 

I absolutely LOVE ENTANGLED and think it's one of the best told fairy tales ever !!

ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
LIZ: Oh goodness. I think it was an epic medieval romance full of misty moors and dank, rat-riddled dungeons, a heroine who was in flight from an arranged dynastic marriage, and a brave knight errant who was sent out to find her. I wrote it all out on yellow legal pads during my train commutes when I lived in Chicago. Seems like a hundred years ago. But I am quite sure that story will never see the light of day again, although I do still have those scribbled pages tucked away in a filing cabinet somewhere. 

ANGI: Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
LIZ: Absolutely! If I can’t identify with the heroine, I can’t read the book with any real degree of pleasure. I don’t always have to like or agree with her actions, but I have to understand her motivations for doing them. The same goes for my writing. I usually conceive of my books as the heroine’s story. THE DANGER OF DESIRE was a little bit different, as I originally set out to write the hero, Hugh McAlden’s story since he had been a secondary character in my two previous books, but once I figured out who my heroine was, Meggs the pickpocket quickly became the heart and soul of the story. 

ANGI: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
LIZ: Story-telling. I start with a character who interests me, and think up her story. And then I get down to the business of writing, and re-writing. And re-writing some more.  

ANGI: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
LIZ: I am always interested in what readers have to say—the good, bad and indifferent. One reader wrote to tell me that she loved one of my books but thought the ending was too abrupt, so I made sure to really work on that for the next story. :) Ask and hopefully, you shall receive. I’m on Facebook almost every day, where I love to interact with readers and hear what they’re thinking. 

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: I love reading historical Alpha males (and yours are awesome). Out of the books you’ve written, can you choose a favorite hero?
LIZ HAS GOTTA ANSWER:  Without any doubt, Hugh McAlden, the naval captain hero of THE DANGER OF DESIRE, is definitely my favorite. As I said before, he had been an interesting and arresting secondary character in both THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE and A SENSE OF SIN, and I really felt I knew him, inside and out. He had grown and matured through those two books from the surly young sidekick, and in THE DANGER OF DESIRE I wanted to present him as a fully-realized man, experienced and accomplished, and very sure of himself in most ways. But of course, his association with the heroine, a young pickpocket he plucks from the streets, opens up previously unseen, deep chasms of vulnerability within him. 

Angi, thank you so very much for having me here at GET LOST IN A STORY today. You always have the MOST interesting questions! :) And to celebrate the release of my latest, I am giving away three copies of THE DANGER OF DESIRE to three lucky random commenters. Leave a comment or question here to enter. Good Luck to all, and thanks for stopping by today. Cheers! 

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically share email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address. 

ELIZABETH WANTS TO KNOW what draws you to historical romance? Is it the dresses? The witty banter? The magical transportation to a different time? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Email    Website    Facebook  

THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE                       
ISBN: 0758251548      

ISBN: 0758251564


UP NEXT: ALMOST A SCANDAL will be out in August 2012 and is my first release from St. Martin’s Press. The Reckless Brides Trilogy will start off with ALMOST A SCANDAL, the story of Sally Kent, who takes her brother’s place on a British Man O‘War with unpredictably romantic results, and will be followed by A BREATH OF SCANDAL and SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT in 2012 and 2013.

READERS DON’T FORGET to follow us on Facebook & Twitter (#GetLostStories) for a daily update on who’s visiting GLIAS and what they might be giving away! Are you an author wanting to find readers? Send us an email. ~Angi


  1. Your books always have such hot covers on them. How would your rate your books as far as how "sexed up" they are? One or two modest love scenes, like Nora Roberts tends to write, or borderline erotica? I frequently share my books with my teen daughters and I don't want to them too graphic. Thanks!

  2. Lil Miss Molly:

    This book, and my two previous books, are all for the Brava line of Kensington Books, and as such are written with a sexually mature audience in mind. They are rather more full of adult sexuality than most mainstream romances.

    I would definitely NOT share these books with your teen daughters—I don't share them with mine—because the Brava line is written specifically for a sexually mature, and usually sexually adventurous audience.

    That said, it's not ALL sex, and I have written a fully-realized romance, so I hope you can enjoy the books yourself. And my coming books from St. Martins press (August 2012) will be much more mainstream (they will also be mass market paperbacks instead of trade sized) with less of an emphasis on the sex itself.

    But as with any book, please let your own judgement be your guide.

    Happy reading! Cheers, EE

  3. Hi your books really2 sounds interesting . Love the way that you create a main character as a pickpocket. Ok, I know my questions sounds really2 lame but how do you get an inspiration to make the woman become a pickpocket ? What was inspire you? Thx. Cheers aretha_zhen@yahoo.com

  4. Aretha:
    The idea for this wonderful character came from two thoughts:

    1. I have to admit that as much as I love most Regency/historical romances, I was getting a little tired of reading about Dukes and Earls and people who I thought might be "buffered from the cares of the world by wealth and copious amounts of liquor." (That's from Danger of Desire) And I really like the idea of showing this super-competent, alpha male getting repeatedly one-upped by a woman.

    2. My second idea was that at either a certain age, or income level, or level of beauty, some people become "invisible." I've always thought that the best spy would not be the handsome, flashy James Bonds of the world, whom everyone looks at! A man like that walks into a room and every eye goes straight to him. I thought it would be much more interesting to have the waitress serving him his vodka martini steal his watch, because if she wasn't beautiful, no one would even see her. :)

    Writers are really devious people, aren't they. Good thing I have no ambitions toward crime or world domination—other than in books!

    Cheers and thanks so much for stopping by! EE

  5. I really admire your spin on this -- it is the people you least suspect and who look ordinary who are the most troubling. If you stand out, people will remember you... Anyway, thanks for sharing!!

  6. Hi Elizabeth,

    Many thanks for such an interesting interview and awesome excerpt from "The Danger of Dsire". The thing that attracts me the most to Historical Romance novels is being swept back to another time and place. A place where people lived laughed and loved and were finding their way to each other. I love to attend the balls with them, and imagine that the handsome hero is asking me for a waltz and also if he can call on me the next morning. I also like the fact that a lot of the heroes are damaged and are in need of some TLC. I could just go on and on about what I love about these books. I thank God for you Authors who make my reading experiences so very enjoyable.

    dpd333(AT)aol dot com

  7. Girly Girl Hoosier:

    You'll find my heroine, Meggs, uses this dictum to her best advantage throughout the book. :) They can't find you if they never saw you.

    Hope you enjoy! Cheers, EE

  8. Hi Elizabeth,

    Your book sounds great and I enjoyed your interview. I like to read Historical romances to be transported to a different time. I love history.

  9. Diane:

    I love and read historical romances for the exact same reasons—I LOVE to be swept up into a story so that the world of the characters becomes as real, and sometimes more real, than my own. I love when I come out of reading a book and everything else look 'wrong' because it's not the same world. :)

    Hope you find plenty of time to read during the holidays! Cheers, EE

  10. Good Morning Elizabeth and all our guests! Thanks for stopping by!

    Liz, I have to tell you that I've stood in the security line at the airport several times with my husband telling me to hush. Seems I was working out how to "get around" security and I was bouncing around the ideas aloud. "WRITERS ARE DEVIOUS PEOPLE" ??? I'd say yes, at least on paper.

    I just love fantastic writing no matter where it takes me or what time period.


  11. Elisabeth, welcome to Get Lost in a Story. Not only were your answers fantastic, being an avid Rocky and Bulwinkle fan :) but I think you have skyrocketed to superstardom with your writing, rewriting, rewriting comment. Isn't that the truth? Although I write contemporary, I LOVE historicals for the era, the sense of propriety and truly the scandal that evolved if an untoward attraction happened. The off limits, how will they ever be together. Historicals are famous for these. Thanks for being with us today!

  12. Hi, Ms. Essex and Angi! Ms. Essex writes a very good book and I love Danger of Desire. The hero is very hunky.

    I began reading historicals way back when (waaaayyy baccckkk). I like everything about them.

    Good job, girls! ox

  13. Tammy:

    I'm so glad you stopped by! I'm always so glad to find readers who love historicals. :) I love history too. There are always so many interesting people and events that inspire me to write stories about them. One little fact, or even the look in the eyes of a portrait I see in a museum will start me thinking, and away I go.

    Hope you enjoy THE DANGER OF DESIRE and find plenty of other great historicals to read over the holidays. Cheers, EE

  14. Angi,

    I am always so happy to come answer your questions here at GLIAS, first because you ask such interesting questions and second because you always make me smile.

    I can just picture you at the airport, chatting helpfully away.

    Remind me not to travel with you! But I'm always happy to meet you here. :)

    Thanks again for hosting me. Cheers, EE

  15. Donnell:

    Thanks so much. You've said just the right thing this morning, as I'm wrestling with a scene in my current WIP that is all about the breaking the unwritten rules of courtship with unwarranted attraction. I know the coming chapters will be FULL of clandestine, off-limits encounters in the murky mews of gas-lit London.

    I have to remember that readers LOVE to adventure down those lanes with my hero and heroine and feel the same breathless anticipation.

    Hope I can give them what they want!

    Cheers and all the best with your writing, EE

  16. Vicki-

    Thanks so much for popping by and I am entirely grateful for your support of hunky Hugh and THE DANGER OF DESIRE. I had so much fun writing this hero and his unsuitable heroine. I hope readers like them as much as I do.

    Here's wishing you a Christmas stocking full of wonderful books to read, and plenty of free time to read them! Cheers, EE

  17. Hi Liz (and Angi),
    I love your books and can hardly wait to read about Hugh. I like historicals b/c they transport me to a different time and hopefully I can learn a little about that time period. Good luck with your release!!

  18. Karilyn:

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I think so far, we've all love the idea of being (safely) transported to another place and time, but I bet one of the other things we all love about historicals is that they allow us to understand that no matter the place and time, human emotions, and the need to see and be seen as lovable never changes. For all the differences, I think we like historicals for those things that still remain the same.

    Thanks so much for your kind words. Cheers, EE

  19. Always glad to have you, Liz !

  20. Hi
    I really enjoyed your interview. Angi you do a wonderful job on the questions .
    I really like reading historical novels because you get to be transported to a different era where there were horse driven carriages, the way people cared about one another. Their clothes were really pretty plus history was always my most favorite subject in high school and it still is to this. On a Friday or Saturday night I would make popcorn and watch the historical channel it always amazes me how people live in that era, the love, happiness and sadness they shared with one another.
    I look forward to reading your book Elizabeth. Thank you for letting me experience and been transported to that era of history.
    Take care

  21. Definitely all of the above! I love reading about a time where I can never go, but feel like I'm at. I love the manners, and the romance of it all. I just love Historical Romance :-)

  22. Hi Elizabeth! I'm so glad to see you featured here. I have seen your books around a lot lately and they sound wonderful. One of the genre I love getting lost in is the historical genre, simply because it is a different time. Social conventions and laws really restricted women and that is why I like seeing a strong female protagonist emerge in this setting. I also liked that you got lost in Joanna Bourne's latest, The Black Hawk because that is one of the books I wanted to check out. Sounds like I need to do so along with one of yours. Happy Holidays.


  23. Svetlana:

    What a charming picture I have of you in my mind, with your popcorn watching historical dramas! You've inspired me to set a fire in my hearth and work next to the dancing flames, while I work on a scene set in a fire-lit library.

    I enjoy all that historical ambiance too, but I must say I am very, very glad to have modern, up to date plumbing!

    But I do understand what your are saying about the peoples of other times having a different sense of sharing than we do. I think families had an intimacy, a deep understanding of each other's characters and temperaments that has just been lost with the frenetic pace of modern life.

    Sigh. Well, at least we can find it in our beloved historical romance stories. :)

    All the best, and thanks so much for stopping by! Cheers, EE

  24. Chelsea,

    Oh, I love the formality of the manners as well! I love the rhythms of speech, with the formal addition of Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennett, or Captain McAlden and Lady Margaret. It amuses my friends that I call them all Mrs. SoandSo and their daughters all Miss Whomever. :) And I think the girl, especially, enjoy it.

    All that emphasis on the formality of manners seems to give courtship a rather stately rhythm. :0

    Hope you enjoy the rhythms in THE DANGER OF DESIRE. Thanks so much for stopping by. Cheers, EE

  25. Na,

    You have discovered my weakness for writing VERY strong female protagonists! And yes, yes, yes, you must read Jo Bourne's THE BLACK HAWK. But you must not read it until after mine, or you will think anything else not written by the deeply talented Mrs. Bourne absolute dreck. It's that good. :)

    Hope you can find time to escape into the romance and ambiance of the past by reading whenever you get the chance. :)

    Cheers, and thank so much for stopping by!

  26. Great Interview Angi and Elizabeth! And that photographer who took your picture together really captured the passion behind the writers! ;)

    Can't wait to read book 3!

  27. Dear Kym:

    Haha! Maybe what you captured was not passion, but the panic that underlies all writers psyches. :)

    So glad you liked the interview and hope you enjoy the book!

    Cheers and thanks so much for stopping by! EE

  28. I like historical romances because life was so much simpler and yet more dangerous back then. Life was more fragile and finding someone to spend that time with was so important. Congratulations on the new book!

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

    Kym Roberts, Diane Diamond & Aretha

    Send an email with your information to GetLostInAStory@gmail.com and I'll connect you with Elizabeth.

    Thanks for stopping by everyone!

    (winners selected by Random.org --remember the rule about International entries)